With the promulgation and enactment of the NEM: ICMA on 1 December 2009, a paradigm shift in coastal management has occurred in South Africa. This paper aims to address selected sections of the NEM: ICMA, as well as other pertinent marine legislation such as the Marine Living Resources Act (MLRA), Act No. 18 of 1998 (as amended) with a specific focus on critically analysing the NEM: ICMA in terms of its effectiveness and related shortcomings as it pertains to development within Proclaimed Fishing Harbours (PFHs).
This analysis was prompted by a history of development within PFHs being significantly hampered by resistance from the general public. Three case studies will be used throughout this paper to highlight that proposed development within a PFH for the purpose of fishing related activities is, in most instances impeded by the people it is intended to benefit. This paper explores whether the NEM: ICMA meets the requirements of the need to develop within PFHs, as well as the need to ensure sustainable development within the coastal protection zone.